Recruiters - don't let the little pricks get to you!

  • Date posted: 09 Jan 2017
  • Tags:

Now before we receive an onslaught of complaints about language, let me explain what I am talking about.

As Recruiters we deal with a lot of stress and rejection on a daily basis, add the pressures of achieving targets to this and you have the potential to become overwhelmed by what the daily grind can throw at you. If you don’t develop a way to manage this, over time, you will burn out. But I am here to tell you that there is a way to be a high performer without sacrificing your sanity.


It starts with accepting that we cannot possibly control everything that happens to us on a daily basis. The only thing we can control is how we respond. That’s right RESPOND not REACT. The management of our inner dialogue and thought process completely controls how we feel, and how we feel triggers our behaviour, and how we behave dictates how those around
us feel and behave – the loop is never ending.


You know how powerful your mind is. Ever had that day where something goes wrong early, and you tell yourself “it’s going to be one of those days”, and what do you know, you make it “one of those days”. You seem to attract disaster after disaster, all the while becoming upset, negative, frustrated, or angry. These are not states that produce our best work. They sabotage us and seem to attract even more issues like some kind of giant negativity magnet. Conversely, we all have days where we tell ourselves it’s going to be amazing and we make it so. So clearly we are able to manage our mindsets when we want to, we just do it sub-consciously and inconsistently. So how do we control how we assess what happens to us? How do we master our “state of mind” to ensure we are operating in an optimum state. Seeking solutions, opportunities and positive outcomes and projecting positive energy to everyone around us?


It starts with identifying the little pricks and saying SO WHAT.


We deal with little pricks every day as Recruiters. Think about it. Make a list. How many things happen that really derail our thinking or state? I’ve give myself about 30 seconds and I have already come up with quite an impressive list of “little pricks”:

  • Candidates not turning up to interview
  • Rude clients
  • Clients reneging on terms
  • Wasting time working on roles the client has filled but hasn’t told you
  • Candidates accepting counter offers
  • Doing work for colleagues that isn’t reciprocated
  • Boss being unreasonable
  • Fee disputes with colleagues
  • Clients withdrawing offers
  • Traffic delays / disruptions
  • Your CMS / database crashing
  • IT issues
  • Running out of job board credits


I am sure you can come up with many more. My point is, we have to accept that as Recruiters the majority of these issues are always going to be there. We can’t control whether they happen or not. Sure we can develop systems and techniques to minimise them, but we can never control them completely. So let’s accept they are going to happen. And if we can accept that then surely we can see how pointless it is to give them power over us. Why get upset about something we know is going to happen to us?


Instead, if you want to be truly successful, you use every “little prick” to be an opportunity to learn something. Long ago, as part of mindset training, I was taught to verbally respond to these situations with the phrase “how fascinating”. 

My client really wants me to find them candidates yet never calls me back. How fascinating. I wonder what this means and
what I could do differently with this client and in the future?


I can assure you it takes practice, and some might think you are crazy at first, but it works. It totally takes the “poor me” aspect away from a scenario and gets your brain focused on solutions. The other tip I have for you, is to change your language from “have to” to “get to”. So not, “Oh God, I have to write 10 job ads this morning”, but instead, “I get to write 10 job ads – how lucky am I to have so many jobs to fill”.


Understanding that you can’t control what happens to you is the only way to stay sane in recruitment. Accepting that your success will be down to 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you choose to respond will liberate you and become truly empowered. Working from a place of gratitude, reminding yourself of how lucky you are to do what you do, earn what you do, impact people’s lives in the way you do, will gain you a feeling of true fulfilment.


So my Recruiter Friends - Don't let the little pricks get you down. It's either all good or bad and it's up to you to choose.


Sign up for job alerts

About Recruiter Republic

Find out who we are and what makes us the UKs only award winning Rec2Rec 

Read More